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Showing posts from tagged with: health

How To Make A Warm Bowl Of Porridge With Pumpkin Crisps?

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Brr, brr, BRRRR! Has winter finally arrived? The mornings are getting darker and colder as the autumnal weather approaches, and let’s face it, there’s nothing more we want to do than hit snooze and roll over for another five minutes kip. But waking up to one of these beauties is another story. Porridge is a great winter warmer and what better way to start a cold, frosty morning than with a warming bowl of porridge? Breakfast is important to fuel your body for the day, particularly if you're going for a morning run or a gym session before work. We're huge fans of icy cold smoothies or granola and fruit in the summer months, but now the weather has turned colder, we're looking for a toasty alternative. But there are more reasons to enjoy porridge than just a delicious start to the day; oats could provide protection against heart disease and cancer, scientists say, and porridge is packed with fibre, which provides your body with sustainable energy. If you are feeling the cold here is a recipe to heat up your mornings with… A warming oat-free porridge topped with crunchy Giving Tree Snack Pumpkin Crisps and nutritious goji berries and a drizzle of Yacon Syrup!

Igredients:

 

Method:

  1. Place the oats and the coconut milk or water in a large pan over a medium heat
  2. Add a tiny pinch of salt, coconut butter and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. Bring to a steady simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring as often as you can to give you a smooth creamy porridge – if you like your porridge runnier, simply add a splash more coconut milk or water until you’ve got the consistency you like.
  4. Stir the Yacon Syrup through the porridge.
  5. After you’re satisfied with the consistency, put your oats porridge in a bowl an add your Giving Tree Pumpkin topping alongside with the Goji Berries, Brazilian Nuts, Pumpkin, chia seeds and a little bit of cinnamon!
 

Our Favourite Autumnal Treats..

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09.11.16

HEALTHY AUTUMN TREATS - SO SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS!

So Bonfire Night has been and gone, and we made some AMAZING healthy treats to tuck into! They were so simple to make, and so incredibly healthy too with our Giving Tree strawberry crisps and plenty of toppings. Recipe 1: Banana Choco Kebabs Method:
  • Cut 3 large bananas in half, and place a wooden skewer through each half.
  • Melt your favourite Dark Chocolate brand (we like 70% cocoa solids) and stir continuously, we added a little Chi Coconut Milk to make it extra creamy too!
  • Dunk bananas into the chocolatey bowl and let drip over a cooling rack (pop a plate underneath to collect any drippings!)
  • Now add your crushed Giving Tree fruit and your favourite nuts, seeds, grains and anything else you can get your hands on!
  • Leave to set in fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!
  screenshot-2016-11-09-13-28-41 Recipe 2: Sticky Choccy Apples  Method:
  • Cut 2 large apples in half, and place a wooden skewer through each half.
  • Melt your favourite Dark Chocolate brand (we like 70% cocoa solids) and stir continuously, we added a little Chi Coconut Milk to make it extra creamy too!
  • Dunk apples or drizzle in a fun pattern, into the chocolatey bowl and let drip over a cooling rack (pop a plate underneath to collect any drippings!)
  • Now add your crushed Giving Tree fruit and your favourite nuts, seeds, grains and anything else you can get your hands on!
  • Leave to set in fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!
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Energise in October

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

06.10.16

Days are getting shorter and darker as we settle into the Autumnal months. The motivation to maintain the get up and go attitude that we usually have on sunnier, warm days is admittedly not the same as much as we would like it to be. Whether this is simply the motivation to get out of bed to work, or to keep fit and healthy in colder months; outdoor runs are less appealing and the temptation to reach for hot chocolate and marshmallows is real. However, here are multiple ways in which you can approach and beat the winter slump come October.

Light up with Lumie 

Bodyclock wake-up light

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Some would dub the Lumie body clock as the saviour to your early morning wake ups, especially during dark and gloomy months. The difficulty in getting up results in inertia, which is the inability to feel alert and perform when you first awake. So if you are not a morning person, this body clock wakes you up gently as the light turns on and gradually gets brighter in last thirty minutes of sleep. The light stimulates production of hormones that help us to get up and go, while suppressing those that bring on sleep.

The body clock also solves the issues associated with oversleeping, which may indicate that your body clock is set at a later time than desired. The light of Bodyclock can help to reset the body’s natural rhythms to suit the working day better and make you feel more awake and refreshed when you have to get up.

Bodyclocks start from £59.95

SAD light 

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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. Often known as "winter depression", symptoms of SAD tend to appear in the autumn as days start to get shorter. Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure of interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleeping during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
Light therapy is a popular way to combat SAD. Lightboxes are able to treat the symptoms of SAD with summer levels of bright light. They lift mood, boost concentration and restore natural energy. Lumie offer a range of lightboxes which stimulate exposure to sunlight. The Arabica is just one lightbox which ideally can be used whilst watching TV or using the computer; recommended treatment time is 30-60 minutes. SAD lightboxes start from £99.95

Stretch

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There are multiple benefits in taking even 10 minutes of your morning routine to stretch your body before you get on with your day. Benefits include:

  • Improves posture
  • Fewer aches and pains
  • Increased blood flow
  • Greater amounts of energy

You can follow a straightforward sequence of total body stretching...

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Or, if you are a regular yogi, then you may be interested in a light morning yoga sequence such as...

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Soup for days 

There is no doubt that soup is a cold weather staple, we drink it by the gallons in the autumn and winter! Sales of soup noticeably increase during the colder months, however, shop brought soups are often laden with added 'nasties' such as unnecessary salt, sugar and artificial additives. So why not make your own home made soup? It is no longer time consuming due to the array of blenders that are now available to whizz up your own batch of wholesome glug.

Splurge

What you can make with the Vitamix blender is absolutely endless! You can make juices, smoothies, soup, nut butters, no strain nut milks, powders, sauces and dips, whipped cream and frothed milk and even pulled meat! If you can't afford the most coveted Vitamix blender (prices start from £299-£650), there are plenty alternatives which can do the same job for a small fraction of that price! screenshot-2016-10-06-10-09-50

Save

Keeping things affordable and simple, all you may need is this soup maker by Morphy Richards. Put in all your ingredients and select 1 of the 4 functions: blend, smooth, chunky or juice - to give your soup the perfect consistency! As well as preparing all kinds of soup, this blender is also able to heat them up too and the 1.6L capacity means that you can make enough soup for the whole week.

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Go Sober 

 

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Macmillan Cancer Support has launched their annual Go Sober for October campaign to encourage people to go sober for October and raise money to support those people who are affected by cancer. As well as fundraising for a highly respectable charity, you may be forever thankful after 31 days of booze free detoxing. No hangovers, a downsized beer belly and a noticeable amount left of your pay check to splurge on a new winter coat instead? Yes please.

So far just over £500,000 has been raised this year. To be involved in this fantastic cause, as well as feeling renewed and rejuvenated, sign up individually or with a team.

Halloween spirit 

halloween Halloween is not just for kids and trick or treating! Keep posted for Halloween themed recipes for all ages to celebrate.  

AVOIDING THE FAD SUMMER DIET..

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03.08.16

AVOIDING FAD DIETS!

For a long time, we have collectively been aware of the fact the fad diets do not work, however so many of us continually appear to get caught up in the cycle of eating less, losing weight fast, to then only go and put it back on again soon after. As the Summer Season is in full swing, it’s essential to ensure that we are aware of this common Summer Diet, and aim to eat as mindfully as possible as the indulgence is taken up a gear! Occasionally, phrases similar to “if I’m good” or “I deserve it” can float around, allowing us to feel as though food can be used as either a punishment or a reward, however it’s much more productive to gain some balance and perspective on the food we eat at this time of year.

EAT A HEALTHY BREKKIE

It’s the old fave that we all know but don’t always abide by, yes you guessed it (well, it is in the sub heading…), eat breakfast! Ensuring you eat a healthy first meal of the day will of course set you up for the day ahead, but will more importantly allow you to worry less about what you eat for the rest of the day (within reason, of course!). If you are to have a smoothie bowl packed with goodness and topped with seeds, fruit or cacao nibs, with a glass of fresh juice, a herbal tea or another healthy alternative, you will automatically feel as though you are on course for a healthier day and subconsciously want to remain feeling super healthy, but will equally not be as worried about having what you really want for dinner!

DON’T BE FOOLED

A word of guidance now, don’t be fooled by the false promises of fad diets, as let’s face it, they make you feel well and truly miserable! Remember when the sun is out, it’s a lot easier to thrive off raw fruit and veg, with a naturally lower calorie content than other foods and undoubtedly bursting with goodness! Try keep up your healthy eating with exciting recipes and delicious seasonal fruit and veg.

PORTION PROPERLY

Many people fear the phrase “portion control” as it can come with negative connotations, however the premise of it really is to ensure you don’t overload your plate with an unnecessary amount of food. If fad-ing is a familiar thing for you, aim to exercise portion control (or whichever way you wish to phrase it) when having the more indulgent foods, as the misery from under eating can swing the other way once the 10th profiterole has been consumed, meaning you end up feeling equally as bad, and resulting in the lead up to a fad diet being on the cards! Portion properly throughout the day and you one, won’t be as ravenous when meal time hits, and two, will be able to enjoy your choice of meal without any of the ‘guilty’ repercussions.

SNACK YOUR HEART OUT

Snacking sometimes has a bad rep, however if you want to avoid feeling the need to fad in the future, snacking is a consistent and reliable way of ensuring that you aren’t going to reach for the choccy biscuits or family bag of crisps later on in the evening. Preparing small, sandwich - style bags with nuts, seeds, dried fruit or fresh fruit is a brilliant way of knowing that you have food on you for emergency hunger situations, in turn encouraging you to snack healthily, resulting in there being no need for over-indulging, and you feeling extremely satisfied in the long run.

CHILL OUT

It’s easy to fall into the all-or-nothing trap of eating, presuming that, if you eat really heathily for a week, you are then granted permission to eat whatever you want (binge style) a day following this; As soon as this is over, you end up feeling somewhat guilty about the quantity and quality of food you have consumed, and there begins the fad diet once again. By ensuring that you have a relaxed approach to your eating schedule, your decisions regarding the food you eat will be much easier as you will inevitably act more instinctively and if you wish to eat something healthy or alternatively unhealthily, it will be a more conscious, less impulsive decision. Whilst bearing these points in mind, it’s important to acknowledge that different things work for different people, and so to only commit to eating brekkie or consuming healthy snacks is absolutely fine, just as long as it works for you and your daily routine, as let’s face it, we can’t always do everything we know we should do all the time! So steer away from those age old fads if you’re looking for long term health and happiness, just make sure you enjoy the journey while you’re doing it!

Summer Comfort Eating Essentials

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22.07.16

Summer Comfort Food We all have moments where a home comfort meal makes us feel the world of good. Generally speaking, comforting food comes in the form of something which doesn’t always make you feel that great after consumption though, however with a few changes we can still enjoy these same comforts but with a healthy twist, and subsequently enjoy them guilt free.

CHIPS!

There are different kinds of chip eaters - whether you’re a sharer, an occasional enjoyer, a wrap them up and take them home to enjoy on your own kind of person, or someone who simply can’t get enough of them, a portion of the nation’s favourite shaped potato doesn’t ever go amiss. However, they aren’t always the healthiest option; the humble sweet potato though makes for an entirely different story. One of our absolute favourite home comfort alternatives comes in the form of sweet potato fries, and is a great way also of getting a wonderful amount of beta-carotene, fibre and hair, nail and skin nourishing goodness into your system without any compromise on comfort! Simply slice them, add a small drizzle of olive oil, herbs, and whichever flavourings take your fancy, and pop them in the oven - it really couldn’t be easier!

SPAG BOL

The perfect carby comfort food, try spirallazing your favourite vegetable, we like butternut squash, courgette or carrot and gently cook these in a drizzle of oil until softened. Serve with your favourite veggie packed Bolognese and a generous helping of reduced fat cheese, or a lighter cheese such as feta. Another great option is buckwheat or brown rice pasta, as they are completely gluten free as well as healthful and honestly taste just as good. Try mashing together an avocado, basil, lemon and pine nuts for a healthy creamy alternative too!

PANCAKES

Making for the perfect Sunday brunch option (or just whichever meal takes your fancy), it’s undeniable that these are some of our favourite go-to’s for an indulgent, home comfort-style meal. However, with the general ingredients for our favourite round indulgence being not extremely healthy, and therefore not something we generally indulge in on a daily basis, its important to recognise the ingredients which will make up for this so that we can do just that! Ingredients which are great for this include oats, banana, almond milk, medjool dates and more - all completely natural and make for a delicious, energy abundant treat whenever takes your fancy.

COOKIES

Try a cashew coconut cookies for a wonderfully crunchy snack with a slight Christmassy feel to them with the ginger and cinnamon element to them. As well as this, chocolate-banana oat cookies are a great alternative to our choccy childhood faves, with cacao powder and date syrup creating the flavours we all love and once again, oats and bananas the consistency. They really are great, and you can be rest assured once you smell them exiting the oven, it will be as though you have been transformed back to your childhood home treats once again. So enjoy your tasty summer comfort foods, on us!

Modern Dieting – balance is key!

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13.07.16

Put together by the Guardian, this article perfectly describes the issues of modern day dieting and the 'gospel' words of many un-qualified celebrity like role models which encourage clean eating and missing out crucial food groups from our diets..

It mustn't be forgotten that despite healthy cook books and advice being great for those interested in pursuing a healthier lifestyle and encouraging cooking rather than buying ready meals, to not take this advice so literally as balance is key!

"Every Sunday in the centre of Brixton, a group of Afro-Caribbean women of a certain age, gather on Atlantic Road to sing lustily about Jesus while wearing big hats. As a diehard atheist I am meant to have no time for organised religion. But the fact is they’re not harming anyone and they look very happy indeed.

If only all religions were so benign. If only all religions were so cheerful. But they are not. Recently a new kind of religion has arisen; one engineered for a godless age and specifically designed to make its devotees feel worse about themselves more often than they feel better. Like all religions it is based on hocus-pocus, misdirection and delusion. This new religion is called The Diet.

Yes of course diets have been around for centuries, promoted just as they are now through books. And for the most part they have always been stupid: the grapefruit diet, the red wine and steak diet, the kitten and stilton diet. I may have invented one of those. But generally they were functional. Do thing A and thing B and you will get result C. They didn’t work because like, pyramid investment schemes, they never do.

 madshaw

What the modern diet books have that the previous lot didn’t is a moral dimension. They are not merely instruction manuals. They are secular catechisms. There is an implication in these titles, written by young people with glossy hair and clear eyes who look like they think their farts smell only of peaches and peppermint, that if you don’t follow their plans you will not merely be fat. You will be bad. You will be a flawed person who through, lack of insight and moral fibre, has failed to reach their full potential in the way the authors have.

Well I wonder if I might be permitted to make a learned intervention into this noble discussion of the human soul, by saying this: sod off! Really, go away. Find something else to do. Take up boxing; it may involve hurting people but at least there are rules. In saying this I am only adding my voice to a growing choir. The brilliant Ruby Tandoh recently examined the speciousness of some of the faux-scientific thinking underpinning various of these works. A new blogger called the Angry Chef has been laying waste in superbly forensic style to the flaws in dietary advice and a general failure to understand the science of food and cooking. And Nigella has had a stab at the use of the phrase “Clean Eating”. Food does not have a moral aspect. Only the people eating it do.

But we need to go further and argue against one other element of all this: the use of guilt as if it were a weapon being wielded by a 14th-century pope. I am often asked what my guilty food secret is. I reply that I don’t have one. Because if I started feeling guilty, where would I stop? There are some foods that I like but which I know I shouldn’t eat too much of and that’s what I try to do. Guilt corrodes. Instead I go to the gym and watch what I eat, like any responsible adult. But I also make a point of enjoying what life has to offer. Food is just too much of a pleasure to be sullied by the stupidities of a bunch of swivel-eyed hucksters whose only real credential is the size of their Instagram following. Put that in your nutribullet and drink it."

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Fruit Versus Cholesterol

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

24.06.16

High cholesterol has become a epidemic of this century, and this century alone. Many scientists believe this is due to the change in our diet over the recent years. In this decade we have reached all new highs in the prevalence rates of high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. What can we do to conquer the diseases of our time? Well we can start by eating more fruit. Why is this an issue? High cholesterol can lead to hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and eventually deathHaving cholesterol is fine, we all have cholesterol, however high cholesterol is an issue. An issue with rates at an all time high; high cholesterol is a disease that plagues over 50% of adults in the United Kingdom alone. As this can lead to cardiac arrest and in some cases death, this is clearly an issue that we need to take to heart. Where does it come from?  Cholesterol is a naturally occurring waxy substance which is necessary for healthy cell maintenance, vitamin D production, hormone production amongst other functions. Cholesterol is made by the body in the liver so we get all the cholesterol we need. However it is also a component in some foods so we need to watch our diets and consuming too much cholesterol. Dried-fruit Get low! Get low! One of the most effective ways to keep our cholesterol levels lows to limit our intake of saturated fat, as consuming these foods has been scientifically proven to raise our cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is mainly found in animal products such as butter, lard, fatty meat and full fat dairy products. Another way to combat our cholesterols is to eat more fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in fibre and other beneficial compounds that lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and can help individuals who struggle with their cholesterol levels. Dietary fibre can be seen as a broom that works to sweep cholesterol out of the body naturally. How does this work? and what can we do? Soluble fibre found in plant foods like fruits and vegetables (as well as grains and beans) bind to and remove bile acids from the body. This means that there is less bile acid available to recirculate in the body. However we need bile acid for digestion, so the liver must use up its cholesterol reserves to produce more bile acids. This process of using up our existing cholesterol, lowers the overall cholesterol in the body. Research has shown that individuals who consume higher quantities of fruits and vegetables are at lower risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity. Additionally, experimental findings have shown that increasing daily dietary fibre intake by "5 to 10 grams have up to a 5 percent drop in cholesterol". Fruit stack Most fruits and vegetables are of high fibre content however some especially high in fibre such as broccoli, apples, strawberries and spinach. Additionally, dried fruits have been shown to also have been shown to offer a whole host of health benefits such as providing a high antioxidant value, help with insomnia and battle cancer. Dried apples have been especially good at lowering cholesterol.  Scientists conducted a year long study that tested the cholesterol lowering effect of various dried fruits in a group of 160 older women. They found that just 12 dried apple rings a day helped to significantly drop the overall cholesterol levels! It's time to get crunching! Put simply if we are to trying to reduce our cholesterol levels, reduce our risk of heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure or just live a healthy lifestyle we should limit saturated fat intake and eat more fibre! Each fruit and vegetable crisp pack at The Giving Tree count as one of your five a day! For more information click here!

Fruits and vegetables versus asthma

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health | 0 comments

22.06.16

Asthma is the most common chronic illness amongst children today and prevalence rates are quickly on the rise worldwide. We cannot let constant coughing and wheezing cripple our nation! To remedy this issue we should look to our diet and turn the table to more fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that there is a link between low consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and increased prevalence of asthma amongst children. This helps to make sense of the finding that populations that eat a traditional diet, where the majority of their caloric intake comes from plant sources have lower rates of asthma.   An apple a day keeps the asthma away? Recently British researchers have found that individuals who ate between 2 to 5 apples a week have lower rates of asthma. They speculate that it may be due to the flavonoid components involved, in particular, khellin which has been shown to open up airways. At The Giving Tree our fruit crisps make an excellent snack with all the nutrition preserved by our freeze drying process and vacuum packaging.Apples   A call for the 'C'? We have all heard of the wonders of vitamin C. Pirates out at sea that lacked vitamin C got scurvy. Whilst nowadays scurvy is not so common, asthma however is. One study of preschool children conducted in Japan found a link between vitamin C intake and lower rates of asthma. Some fruits with the highest antioxidant vitamin C content include papayas, strawberries and kiwis. Additionally, research has shown that there is increased risk of airway hypersensitivity in those with the lowest vitamin C intake. citrus 2 Veggies to the rescue? Another study on a sample of children has shown that high dietary vegetable intake to be protective against asthma, reducing the risk up to 50%. This may be due to the high antioxidant content of many vegetables which serve a protective effect on our overall health. To test this theory researchers conducted an intervention study where they experimented adding and then removing antioxidant rich foods from the diets of their experimental sample. The results showed that  when the antioxidant rich foods were removed from the participants' diets they experienced "significant worsening of lung issues and asthma control". This suggests that antioxidants play a key role in the functioning of our lungs and breathing and can be considered as a treatment option for asthma in adults and children alike. Our vegetable crisps are a great to eat your veggies when you're on the go! Grab a pack of our broccoli crisps for your next snack! Even if we don't have asthma we should all eat an abundance and variety of fruits and vegetables to better our health! For more information on how asthma can be treated using fruits and vegetables click here or here!

Tips for more mindful eating

Posted by admin in Food, Givingtreesnacks, Health, Mindful, Uncategorized | 0 comments

14.06.16

We could all do with a refresher course on how to eat to benefit our health. Mindful eating may be the answer. You may have heard of mindfulness or mindfulness training. What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness can be defined as a mental state that focuses on the present as well as an awareness and acceptance of one's innermost emotions, thoughts and feelings. Similarly mindful eating is eating with intention and attention. Our culture of overconsumption today suffers a binary where diseases such as obesity and diabetes are rife, whilst other eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervousa are hidden. On every corner we see fast food chains selling artery clogging 'happy meals' and every editorial is obsessed with the latest fad diet or detox cleanse. It is very easy to become confused with our relationship with food. Mindfulness is used as a form of cognitive behavioural therapy and has been successful as a form of treatment for individuals with disordered eating habits and obese individuals. <indful eat Here are some tips for more mindful eating. Respect your hunger cues.  This may seem obvious to some however others find that they often eat out of other reasons, such as boredom, sadness or as an emotional filler for real life problems. This is where mindful eating comes in. With a deeper awareness of our surroundings and inner emotions comes a  better ability to address problems at hand a more effective strategy than say 'eating our feelings'. Eating is often used as a coping mechanism for life's hardships, this can lead to a disordered relationship with food and in serious cases even obesity. On the other hand, we should not ignore hunger pangs as they come throughout the day. Waiting till you are ravenous can leave you desperate for food and susceptible to making poor food choices and can ultimately mess with your plan to eat more healthfully. Put simply it is best to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This can help make eating a more enjoyable and rewarding experience void of the feelings of guilt and discomfort that are associated with overeating and junk food. Mindful eating tomatoes   Mindful eating can sometimes mean eating more slowly. This way our body has more time to register how much food we are eating before we are too full. Additionally, studies have shown those who spend more time chewing their food achieve a greater level of satiety after their meal. When we slow down we can really focus on what we are doing and what we are eating, this way we may be better able to enjoy every bite of our food, feel full and avoid overeating. In the recent decades the whole culture of food and eating has changed completely, the landscape of the food industry is now run rampant by fast food chains and in some countries even drive throughs. When we take time to carefully prepare our food, and sit down for a meal we may feel more in tune with our hunger and fullness cues. Taking a tip from the practice of mindfulness we may better able to appreciate our food and savour each bite. Pose Mindful eating Eat food that is both optimal for both your enjoyment and health. When you really pay attention to what you are eating you may be better able to focus on food that is enjoyable, balanced, healthy and will leave you satisfied after you finish your meal. Often when we eat processed prepackaged food we may eat what seems to be a lot of food and still be left wanting more, this may be because our body does not feel as though it is getting the nutrients it deserves. However when we eat an abundance of well-balanced, nutrient rich foods our body can feel full and satisfied and less prone to sudden hunger pangs and mood swings. In the long run this can save us from bouts of overeating, binging on unhealthy foods and ultimately leave us free to fuel our body with the energy we need to live life to the fullest. Overall, it is important to take a lesson from mindfulness to make us more appreciative for every moment we are given. When we are swarmed with an army of fast food options at every corner it is important to stop and think where our food comes from before we eat it. Mindful eating helps us eat more intuitively, feel greater satisfaction and avoid feelings of regret after our meal. When we revolutionise the way we eat, eating instead to nourish our body and mind, we may develop a greater appreciation for our food and be better prepared to tackle the modern day obesity epidemic. For more tips of mindful eating click here or here.

Summer Kitchen Prep Made Easy!

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06.06.16

It’s easy to let the healthy eating slide when the Summer months come into play, however it’s surprisingly easy to stay healthy with just a few simple pre planning tips. We use time as an excuse but when you consciously set aside a decent amount of time to mass prepare for the week (or longer), the time saved is brilliant, and you will be able to enjoy the sun without compromising on what you put into your body. From food to tupperware, and shopping to chopping, we have some of our top tips for prepping your kitchen for the summer months. Invest in tupperware, it's the backbone of eating healthy in the summer months, as without any, the excuses would multiply as to why we can’t stay healthy on the go or pre make as many healthy meals as possible. Investing in tupperware is a brilliant way of allowing you to prepare meals that can be stored in the freezer for as long as you like. Alternatively, tupperware is a great way to allow you to prepare things like carrot sticks and hummus as well as large salads, or even some raw treats you’ve prepared previously to take into school or work as a snack. We love Giving Tree snacks, especially broccoli and pumpkin with hummus and fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumber too. FullSizeRender Fruit at it’s ripest can be extremely expensive when it’s boxed up or packed in supermarkets, however if you plan ahead that you would like to have a certain fruit perhaps in 3-4 days time, then buying the whole fruit as opposed to the pre-prepared version will firstly be cheaper, and secondly be ready for you to chop up once you are finally ready to eat it, as opposed to feeling as though you have to eat it as soon as it’s bought. Try to head to supermarkets or market stalls selling fruit and veggies at the end of the day, as their ripest fruit will inevitably have to be sold or thrown away, so you will be able to buy the most delicious produce at a fraction of the price - score!! Dust Off That Smoothie Maker - having equipment like a smoothie maker (or blender) at the back of the cupboard does no one any good when wanting to create delicious and healthy drinks for the summer months, right? However if you make the blender a necessary part of your summer drinking routine, it can cut down so much time when you are wanting to get some of the good stuff into your system. Buying frozen berries and lots of bananas as well as throwing in some spinach or kale (for example) can create something extremely healthful, delicious, quick to make and filled with lots of energising goodness to keep you going all morning. They can be so affordable and really do allow you to get in a lot of goodness without having to invest in expensive equipment or ingredients. Plan Meals Ahead - if you know you will be in for four nights in a particular week, perhaps prepare something the Sunday before and allow yourself to be rest assured that the meals will be ready to eat without any thought having to go into it on your part during the week. Ensure you have all the ingredients ready to prepare something which you know you will want to eat in the summer months, and inevitably allow yourself a stress free week of healthy summer meals - it saves so much time and allows you to enjoy the meals you love without worrying about creating them in the week. Cool Blocks and Picnic Bags Tis the season for picnics, and without cool blocks and picnic bags, we end up with a soggy or warm concoction of food we earlier wanted but not so much once it’s been carried all the way to the park or house! It sounds obvious, but ensuring you have the necessities to keep your food and drink the way you created them is a luxury many don’t enjoy in the summer because of those small mistakes!   Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.03